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Dec 09, 2014 11:31 AM EST

New York State Teachers' Average SAT Scores on the Rise, Especially in Low-Income Areas

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The average SAT scores of New York State's teachers is going up, a promising sign even though such a metric does not always measure intelligence.

According to the Huffington Post, a new study published in the journal Educational Researcher has shown the average SAT scores of New York's teachers have been on the rise for about 25 years. The new study has found the increase began in 1999 and the results are relative to the population.

The study authors credited policymaking as a main driver behind the improving SAT scores, many of which aim to "recruit, train, and retain the high quality teachers." They also believe teaching is becoming more attractive to the state's prospective college students.

"What stands out to me, when you look and see that the average SAT score of newly hired teachers has been increasing since about 1999, I interpret that as a signal that the status of teaching is increasing and I see that as a positive trend," study co-author Luke C. Miller, a research professor at the University of Virginia, told the HP.

Miller said alternative teaching certification programs like Teach for America are likely not the reason for the higher SAT scores, even though such programs target academic standouts to work in areas with lower average incomes. The study authors also found that the poorer school districts are benefitting greatly and have seen their teachers' average SAT scores rise since 1999.

The study's scope may have been limited to N.Y., but the researchers believe the same trend is occurring throughout the U.S. As the HP reported last year, that assertion is indeed true.

"Some people have asked, 'Is this just your TFA effect, are they just sticking around for a couple years and then going off?'" Miller said. "It's not just the TFA effect if you look at the scores of individuals from a completely traditional teacher prep program."

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